But nature for her universal law
Hath other surer instruments in store,
Whom from the haunts of men no wonted awe
Withholds as with a spell. In swarms they pour
From wood and swamp: and when their work is o'er
On the white bones the mouldering roof will fall;
Seeds will take root, and spring in sun and shower;
And Mother Earth ere long with her green pall,
Resuming to herself the wreck, will cover all.
Oh! better thus with earth to have their part,
Than in Egyptian catacombs to lie,
Age after age preserved by horrid art.
In ghastly image of humanity!
Strange pride that with corruption thus would vie!
And strange delusion that would thus maintain
The fleshly form, till cycles shall pass by,
And in the series of the eternal chain.
The spirit come to seek its old abode again.